Venezuela’s Cisneros Media has partnered with US indie Part Time Hero Productions to create a telenovela-themed comedy for the US general market.
American Girl Trapped in a Telenovela is being billed as “an English-language comedy series with a Latin twist”. The aim is to attract both US and US Hispanic audiences, and the format will be pitched to broadcast and cable networks.
Cisneros, which is the corporate division of broadcaster Venevision is working with game show host Jeff Sutphen – who runs 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show producer Part Time Hero – and Stacy Ascencio-Sutphen, who are joint creators.
Gina Rugolo, a co-executive producer on NBC comedy Just Shoot Me, has been drafted in to aid production, as has Amistad Productions, whose owner Guy Eckler is leading telenovela actor.
Bungalow Media + Entertainment, which is a strategic partner of Cisneros in the US, will collaborate on production and handle distribution.
“It’s hard to ignore the ratings that telenovelas achieve in the U.S. Hispanic market,” said Sutphen. “I believe the American market has been trying to figure out ways to capitalize on that demographic.
“We feel this project has cracked the code; especially tapping into the creative juices of Guy and Estela [Sainz, Amistad’s boss], and the expertise of Cisneros Media, and all of their years of telenovela experience. As far as we are concerned, no one knows it better.”
“This comedy series offers the best of both worlds,” said Cisneros Media president Jonathan Blum (pictured).
“One might consider it to be a parody of the overdramatic soap opera and the overzealous passions of a telenovela, but it’s basically an America comedy with a Latino flavor that will reach audiences of all ages, regardless of their understanding of the Spanish language.”